600 participants for the 20th Anniversary edition of the PCU Games 2019

From 24 to 26 April 2019 the Antwerp University Association (Flanders, Belgium), hosted the 20th Anniversary edition of the PCU University Games, a yearly sports event (futsal, basketball and volleyball) organized by the PCU Committee to promote Ethics and Fair Play and University Sport.


The PCU Games are held as a part of the Panathlon International Movement for the promotion and spread of culture and sporting ethics, according to the official recognition of the International Olympic Committee since 1982.


On Wednesday 24 April the AURORA Sport Days program successfully started for the first time during the PCU Games 2019 with the workshop “AURORA collaboration in the domain of Sport”. The workshop was held exclusively for professionals of the sport offices of 4 AURORA members. The same day, the YERUN Sport Days Workshop was also organized for sport professionals of the YERUN members. This third edition of the YERUN Workshop welcomed 5 YERUN members to exchange ideas and presentations about possible collaborations.

The University of Antwerp Erasmus+ Project “STICK” (Sport and Academic Talent Integration Through Exchange Programmes in Hockey) was also introduced to the participants of both workshops.


On Wednesday the accreditation for the PCU Games took place in the University of Antwerp Aula Rector Dhanis, the biggest auditorium of the University’s City Campus (700 seats). At the PCU Games Opening Ceremony, about 630 attendees from 15 countries were welcomed by Prof. Dr. Francis baron Van Loon, Honorary Rector of the University of Antwerp. Traditionally the student hymn Gaudeamus sounded to open the Ceremony, followed by the student and referee oaths. Prof. Dr. Alain Verschoren, President of the PCU Drawing Contest, presented the Antwerp University and Panathlon Drawing Contest. In addition, a new project was introduced, the PCU Photo Contest #PCUpic and all participants were invited to participate. At the end of the Ceremony, the PCU Games Council President Dr. Bahram Ghadimi, declared the Games officially opened, after which the heads of delegations were welcomed at the Welcoming Reception, while student participants attended the Welcome Party in the ‘De Prof’.


The Futsal Competition was held this year for the first time at the ‘Het Rooi’ Sports Center, as 18 futsal teams required a bigger venue.

The Futsal Men competition was won again by the Catalan National University Team. In the final, they defeated Financial University (Russia) with 4-0. Financial University won all their games but  they did not manage to pursue this momentum and lost the final against the Catalan Team.

In the Semi-final the Catalan National University Team won the rematch of last year’s final against AP University College. They flew through the entire tournament and had no mercy in the group stage with the University of Edinburgh, winning 11-0 to become the group stage winners.

In the Futsal Women competition the Iranian and Catalan teams were the favorites, winning all matches on their way to the final with a large margin. In the final, the team of the Selected Students of Iran became the winner after an exciting match against the Catalan National University Team with a final score of 1-1 and a penalty shootout of 3-2.

Last year gold winner, University of Edinburgh (Scotland) took this year the third place also in an exciting match against University of Paris-Saclay with a score of 1-1 and a penalty shootout of 3-1.


The Basketball Competition saw 5 men’s teams and 4 women’s teams compete for two titles and was organized again at the ‘Plantin Moretus’ Sports Center.

At the Basketball venue, we saw a great steel of team spirit among the teams. In the Women’s competition, teams were mixed to help out the German University of Konstanz, subject to a lot of injuries. The level of competition in the Men’s league was very high.

In the final round of the Basketball Men competition, the Catalan National University Team took the Champion title, after beating the team of the University of Mostar from Bosnia and Herzegovina with a score of 53-46. In the previous game Antwerp University Association had beaten the University of Konstanz (Germany) for the bronze.

In the final of the Basketball Women competition also the Catalan National University Team won the title, after beating host team Antwerp University Association in the final. The team of Financial University (Russia) won the bronze in the match against the University of Konstanz (Germany).


The Volleyball Competition, hosted at the Sports Center ‘Wilrijkse Pleinen’, welcomed 15 volleyball teams.

Six teams competed in the Volleyball Men competition. The University of Rome Tor Vergata won the title by defeating Mendel University in Brno with 2-0. However, the Italian team was not the winner of their qualifying group. They lost their opening game with 1-2 against KdG University College, which ended 4th. Last year’s runner-up and host University of Antwerp fought for the 3rd place in a Belgian battle against KdG University College.

In the Volleyball Women competition, 9 teams competed for the prizes. Just like last year the women of KdG University College played the final. Their opponent was the University of Mostar. In the end, the University of Mostar showed itself to be a worthy finalist. The Bosnian team won the final with 2-0 in a best-of-three final. Surprising? Maybe… Earlier they lost their group stage match against Karel de Grote University College with 1-2. First time participating Dubna State University (Russia) took home the bronze medal.


In an atmosphere of Fair Play and International Friendship, a common dinner was organized for the participants on Thursday April 25th. Also on Friday group pictures with all participants were taken at each sports venue after the Honoring Ceremonies.


The PCU Committee General Assembly took place on Friday evening 26 April in the University of Antwerp Grauwzusters Campus in attendance of Enrico Prandi, Past President of Panathlon International and founder of the PCU Committee.

The General Assembly was followed by the PCU Games Closing Ceremony where the Enrico Prandi Fair Play Trophy was awarded to De Montfort University (ENG/UK) by Enrico Prandi. The winner was appointed on the basis of the Fair Play ranking during the competitions. After every match, the referees award Fair Play points to each team based upon the conduct of the delegation and Fair Play on the field. As well, a general impression from the Team Guides, Venue Managers and the Organization Committee was taken into account.

The PCU Games Council Chairman Dr. Bahram Ghadimi presented to each delegation the certificates of participation and closed the 20th PCU Games.

Then PCU Committee President Peter Verboven honored and thanked all parties involved in the organization of the PCU Games, after which a wonderful reception followed, where the heads of delegations could enjoy refreshments and networking.


During the Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony of the PCU Games, the exposition of the 3rd Antwerp University and Panathlon Drawing Contest 2018, devoted to University Sport and Olympic principals, was set up. During the Opening Ceremony a voting round for the “Honorable Commendation of the PCU Games 2019 Participants” was organized. The highest number of participants voted for the drawing “Jump into the unknown” by Maria Makacheva from St. Mary’s Shelter in Moscow (Russia), only a few votes ahead of the drawing “The impossible is possible” by Anastasia Garkovets from Kyiv (Ukraine).

The PCU University Games offered again a unique platform where university sport, education and culture blend, thereby embodying the fundamental principle of Olympism and providing an opportunity for students to take part in sport competitions and international interaction with emphasis on Fair Play and Universal Friendship. Registration for all other PCU Committee projects (PIUTT Tennis in October in Moscow, the PCU Drawing Contest and the PCU Photo Contest #PCUpic) are already open and participation remains free for all Universities and colleges worldwide.


PCU Games 2019 Medal Table

Download PDF-file of the PCU Games 2019 Resume.